25
Mar
Oculus-logo

Facebook usually buys apps and various online services, but not today. The company has just announced that it has agreed to purchase Oculus VR, the company working on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The final price for the company was $2 billion ($400 million cash, $1.6 billion stock). That's 2 Instagrams, if you're keeping track.

oculus-rift-dev-kit-2

Oculus VR has been the darling of the gaming realm ever since its wildly successful Oculus Rift Kickstarter, and just announced a second version of the Oculus Rift developer kit. The technology is so impressive that computer gaming heavyweight John Carmack joined the company, and recently severed all ties with id Software to work full time as Oculus' CTO. Incidentally, Carmack now works for Facebook, which is bonkers all by itself.

So what does Facebook want with Oculus? As Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg points out, nothing is changing with the company's gaming plans. So relax – the Android support for Oculus Rift should still be coming. The Oculus Rift is still happening and Facebook intends to get more game developers on-board with the Rift in time for release. If Zuck is to be believed, Oculus VR will be staying at its current headquarters and will operate independently. Facebook isn't buying Oculus to make games more immersive, though, it wants to make everything else more immersive.

Facebook sees VR as a way to join a virtual community from the comfort of your own home and feel like you're really there. Whether you're taking a class, seeing a concert, or checking out the sights in an unfamiliar city, Facebook thinks the VR tech from Oculus can take you there. Of course, there are any number of dystopian sci-fi stories you can spin out from this starting point, but we'll just have to wait and see. The deal should be done in the second quarter of this year.

[Oculus Blog, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Kingu Prima

    after whatsapp....

    • c0n0r
    • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

      Notch just cancelled his deal with Oculus as well (for those who care about Minecraft). I wonder who else will drop out...

      • Rich Broughan

        Facebook as an investing interest can only help! IMHO Microsoft's decision to make the XBone kinekt preparatory instead of a USB standard interface signals that battle lines are drawn... Oculus lives as it did before but with more capital, Zuck stands to make a lot of money from his investment and project Morpheus is shivering on the porch! Where Oculus take the tech post-rift is anyone's guess but I'm thinking google have a competitor at last for glass' augmented reality market :D

        • MistiXF

          Facebook as an investing interest can only help!

          That's probably why a lot of people already dropped the idea of buying Oculus VR when it goes live... I'm amongst them, just because of Facebook. I dropped whatsapp because of the same reason.

          • Incipio

            Most gamers simply want what will enhance their game play experience -- and in all honestly do not care whose brand is slapped on it.

        • didibus

          Except Oculus VR is not an Augmented Reality tech, but a Virtual Reality tech, so no competition for Google.

          • Rich Broughan

            Yes that's the case for the rift and that's not going to change however facebook getting involved in the VR game this early suggests they see future avenues of development. Since both Oculus and Facebook have been quoted stating emphatically that the rift will be untouched by this turn of events and will remain the gaming HMD we are waiting for I can only surmise that Zuck's geektank don't want to miss the boat again. If the lessons learned developing the 'rift help developing 'FacePlate' or whatever name they come up with for a future always-connected 'rift derivative with front cameras/4g to allow augmented reality and realtime net access on the move then it's going to be the perfect place to start wouldn't you say?

          • didibus

            I'd say no. Nothing in the technology of the Rift can be re-used for Augmented Reality, unless you go with camera based AR, which I doubt will ever be a thing. The Rift is a 1080p screen strapped in front of your eyes with special optic lenses between your eyes and said screen that convert the view into a more spherical representation. This way, the light hits you in a more convincing manner, as if they came from the side, top, etc. The motion sensing tech requires an external camera, so it's in no way portable.

            Facebook might be planning to compete in the space of AR wearables, but if it's going to do so, it doesn't need the Rift in any way. The only slight advantage this would give them is if they reassign the talent from the rift towards building a AR tech, but appart from that, I don't see much else.

  • folkrav

    Oculus Rift, feat. NewsFeed ads

    • remister

      *said* friend wants to request you to buy Oculus Rift.

  • Bob

    Goddamnit, Facebook is ruining everything. I was actually considering buying one of these until I see this.

    • sssgadget

      How is Facebook ruining everything? Then this is similar as Google buying Nest.

      • Bobberson

        The difference is Facebook is garbage.

        • AbbyZFresh

          Used by over a billion users actively.

          • David Margolin

            The social network isn't garbage (google+ is better) but they are similar to yahoo when it comes to acquisitions.

          • mrjayviper

            better in terms of what? I can't socialize with my friends on Google+ because they are not there. :O

          • David Margolin

            you need better friends ;)

          • mrjayviper

            like some anonymous person I've never met? sure. can you be my friend? :)

          • David Margolin

            YES! Free internet friend!!!

          • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

            its much easier to control privacy though any post you make is public if you dont specify who your share it to and your feed isnt exclusive to your friends. it also has public posts from strangers who also like what you like....

            its like Twitter and Facebook had a child.... except both companies are hated by a lot of people so they dont care

          • Defenestratus

            That sucks. Later tonight my friends and I have a hangout planned where we'll do nerdy things while talking face to face to each other.

            Fun times. Perhaps you need to raise the quality of your relationships :)

          • ddpacino

            Make new friends.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            Wait what??? Google is the motherload of killing any and all acquisitions... Not defending Facebook, just pointing out that google normally even kills the strongest of brands (motorola's like the only one that got out alive).

          • flosserelli

            If a billion people walked over a cliff, would you follow?

          • dogulas

            Doesn't change the fact that it's garbage. They are childish with the way they handle personal information.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Because Google is so much better at this hahshshahahaha

        • Fact

          Google's version of Facebook is even bigger garbage.

      • David Margolin

        google can make nest #holoyolo.

        facebook can make oculus... well.. look at the htc first...

  • Justin Foster

    So now tracking your every move isn't enough for Suckerberg. He wants to monitor your home too

  • Tony

    Goddamn I hate facebook!! It's like a parasite that leaches onto everything, hope this backfires and in some universe facebook goes bankrupt!

    • sssgadget

      First step is stop using FB and asking Mom and Grandma to stop as well... but we know that is not going to happen till the next bubble.

  • Theratchetnclank

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    I'm saddened by this.

  • Darklord

    i thought sony would destroy VR's future with their crappy version of it.. turns out i was wrong.. facebook is.. VR is doomed... geez... probably the most shocking news all week..

    • numpty

      VR has been doomed since the 70s. This really isn't going to make much difference.

      • Darklord

        not really no, the hardware wasn't there yet, VR is supposed to be the future, the next big thing, a monitor replacement not as an accessory. look at virtual boy by nintendo. it was good for it time but the hardware wasn't there. and yes this will make a big difference.

  • dfgs

    I despise facebook..

    • good for you

      Facebook doesn't know who you are and Mark doesn't care

      • flosserelli

        Exactly. And that is the way I want it to stay.

      • dfgs

        So? That doesn't change my opinion, smartass..

      • Johnathan Rodriguez

        I'm glad fb doesn't know me.

  • Danny365

    So we will have FACEbook, like, literally.

    • Guest

      Heh.

  • _jliu

    RIP Oculus. Hopefully Valve's VR machine will make up for this.

    • ddpacino

      Or Sony's. Already have PS4 on my radar once Watch_Dogs FINALLY drops.

  • Crispin Swickard

    Now they buy secondlife. Rebrand it to Facebook life, and you can use the Oculus to cohort with virtual furries..

    • james kendall

      I doubt feacebook wants to acquire linden labs. Secondlife has slowly been losing sims as people have lost interest in it. the metavers is a shadow of it's former self.

      • Crispin Swickard

        A very creepy shadow as well. I wasn't really serious though. :)

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    FVCK... was the first word out of my mouth when I opened Feedly and this was my first headline.

    Smh. Sooooo looking forward to VR and the Occulus rift, but I hate FailBook.

    "In order to setup your new Occulus Rift device you'll need to log in to Facebook to sync settings." Or something. Nooooooooo!

  • Ivan Martinez

    While I would've preferred that Google bought Oculus VR, this is still really cool and forward thinking. Makes me think Sword Art Online or Summer Wars is possible (yes I referenced Anime)

    • GraveUypo

      the problem is not that you're referencing anime, but rather you're referencing that shit over the hack series.

      • Ivan Martinez

        Fair enough, been a long time since I've seen .hack, and it was a terrible sub job. Still, it's the pinnacle

      • Ryan

        Maybe its not so much that SAO was terrible (I can't say it was good by any means, but I think it was decent) or anything, but the .hack series, from what I remember, wasn't quite true VR. You still had a controller and a head unit, so you're still controlling the characters via the controller itself. SAO on the other hand, you put the headset on, lay in bed, and it takes over nervous system queues to control the character, probably more real to VR than .hack. (I've never played the games, never owned a PS2, so some of the story is a blank to me)

        • GraveUypo

          which do you think is closer to the oculus rift?

          • Ryan

            Personally, neither of them did. On a loose note, SAO may be slightly closer in one way. Due to the nature of .hack that I'm aware of, not much was known about exactly how the headset worked aside from showing an image. So I don't know specifics on that.

          • GraveUypo

            what?
            "the world" is pretty much a VR mmo
            http://guardianlv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Oculus-Rift.jpg

            which could easily be done with oculus. before facebuy bought it.

          • Ryan

            Read between the lines, I never said either one wasn't a VR MMO. You asked for my opinion, I gave you my opinion. I still think SAO is probably slightly more to a VR than .hack is due to how I think VR should work.

          • GraveUypo

            well, i asked one thing, you gave your opinion about something else. whatever, this is pointless and boring to discuss.

          • GraveUypo

            what?
            "the world" is pretty much a VR mmo
            http://guardianlv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Oculus-Rift.jpg

            which could easily be done with oculus. before facebuy bought it.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Big deal people. FB’s not going to do anything to them. And i hate FB.

    It’s really smart of them to get into other fields. They can’t survive forever with only Facebook (see Yahoo!,AOL and Myspace) and they know it. It’s safer if they have other places to go and it will also provide other possibilities for Facebook.

    Google is doing to the same to expand outside of search and the web. It has Google Glass, Chromecast, Google+, Android (now also Wear), Nexus devices, driver-less cars, Venture branch and now Nest Labs with its home devices. Microsoft, the same with its “devices and services” philosophy. Most big companies are doing this. The only company being left out of this is Apple so far.

    • Justin W

      So, if they aren't going to do anything to them, why would they buy them? Honest question. They have a motive other than what they are releasing (all companies do).

      • AbbyZFresh

        Maybe they're trying to prevent other companies like MS or Google from aquiring Oculus first? It's worth the cost to weed out competition.

    • dogulas

      So you don't think Facebook will do a single thing to it? It is purely an investment? Yeah right. Better targeted ads, and ad placement will be there eventually, guaranteed.

  • Kingu Prima

    Khaaaaaaaaaaan !

    • LeChuck

      Universe will be doomed once Facebook expand to other galaxies..

      • a.d.AM

        Those pricks on Saturn sure are full of themselves....

  • DrakeTungsten

    So much for Occulus Rift, then. RIP.

  • dethduck

    Wh...why?!

    • SSDROiD

      Profile picture + comment = hilarious :D

  • Colin Richardson

    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Guess we will never get a working version of it now.

  • flosserelli

    Damn. I was looking forward to buying one, but not if I need a FB account.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    NONE OF MY MONEY

  • david coffey

    Well shit.

  • whispy_snippet

    I actually thought Microsoft was going to acquire Oculus VR. Facebook... Bah.

  • remister

    Just like how Facebook messed up the HTC 1st. This is how Facebook messes up a HTC One (2014) announcement.

  • Cody Shiranai

    Eww, definitely eww.... I was looking forward to getting one, especially over Project Morpheus, in fact I was HOPING Microsoft would have bought them in opposition to Morpheus. The dream is dead now...

  • illz

    huh what website am i on

  • RiTCHiE

    FaceBook = CANCER!

    • AbbyZFresh

      Your friends are likely using FB behind your back,

      • SSDROiD

        All my friends are using Facebook and I know it. I abandoned them to go on Google+ and have not regretted it a single second. If they can't see the cancer that is Facebook, even after I have explained it to them several times, they're too stupid to be my friends anyway. In this day and age, a basic IQ in technology should surpass any friendships. That's at least my honest opinion.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

    You say Dystopian + Virtual Reality and I think READY PLAYER ONE! The best sci-fi book I've read in recent years. If you like gaming and sci-fi (who doesn't), you'll love this book. (book commercial over now.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Ready-Player-One-Ernest-Cline/dp/030788743X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

    • james kendall

      I agree. Ready player one was a great book.

  • Leonardo Baez

    well now we can play candy crush saga in facebook with inmersive VR

  • http://friskychatter.com/ _jsw_

    I can't imagine a scenario where this makes things better for the consumer. I have fun with my Dev version... but now I'm hesitating to order the next rev. I'll probably get one anyway, but this news just worries me. Maybe it will be fine, like all those other awesome small companies that got bought by huge ones and still maintained their originality and identity, like... um... hmmm.....

  • BigMixxx

    Why? Is the question. Is this one of those, let's beat Google to it acquisitions or can they make a real advertising dollar from it.

    Does Facebook have the r and d staff for this.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Google's acquired over 150 companies in the past 3-4 years. Let's see if FB can beat that amount.

  • Averix

    Yes, now we can play Farmville in glorious VR. Ug. Not good.

  • GraveUypo

    oh great. another good thing i like just got ruined.

    i've never hated facebook more in my life.

  • Danny Lewis

    F7U12.

  • Chris

    Please be a tasteless/early april fool's joke....

    • Jadephyre

      It isn't, Mark Facebookberg announced it on his profile.

  • http://rayshq.com/ Ray

    Facebook can't even develop a half decent Android app yet they want to play around with VR stuff.

    There can only be one outcome... failure!

  • WhyWai

    Facebook bought everything with their stocks. Won't that devalue their stock?

    more importantly as a gamer: "Carmack now works for Facebook" = O M G

  • Spasillium
  • dogulas

    Why would Facebook buy the Rift if they are doing literally nothing with it? Yeah right.

  • LifesGreat

    Only way you'll be able to use oculus is to.

    A) Sign in with FB account or B) Create FB acct.

  • Jadephyre

    What's the matter? Was my previous post too opinionated and not to your taste that you had to remove it? Palmer Luckey just sold out on all his Kickstarter backers, he just fleeced them for money and now went to the biggest dataminers in history. I hope those $2bn worth of money will help him sleep at night. I was interested in buying a consumer version of the Rift if and when one would be released, but now... no, not anymore.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    RIP Oculus Rift

  • Garrett West

    This is why we can't have nice things.

  • Niall Murray

    A lot of Facebook hate here! Don't take Facebook for fools, they are a multi billion dollar company that can hire the most talented developers in the world if they want to. Money is king.

    • SSDROiD

      "that can hire the most talented developers in the world"
      Have you seen Facebook's Android app? You might as well retract that statement. All Facebook cares about is the money, not about what they do or the quality of their website/apps. People hate on Facebook for excellent reasons. Facebook is the definition of a greedy, soulless corporation whose sole focus is making sure the big numbers in their bank accounts grow even bigger.

  • Waleed Al Suwaimel

    "Incidentally, Carmack now works for Facebook, which is bonkers all by itself." Would someone hold me?

  • Asashii

    So let me get this straight I invest in a company but I don't get a share of the company and with money they begged for, they turn around and make billions off of money that was begged for. Anyone who gives money to kickstarter BS should ask for a share in the company these people just got rich off of the stupidity of idiots, you people just got shafted.Iit is called investing not give people money to make them billionaires and you get ZERO return.

    Please stop using kickstarter and tell them you want a share in the company. What idiots, everyone that gave them money should take them to court!!!!

  • Casey Mills

    FB needs to buy these companies under an alias. Nothing makes less interested in a company than knowing FB bought them. I uninstalled WhatsApp.

  • hp420

    Cool, so now I can play farmville and bejeweled in VR????? Fucking retards ruined the best thing that could happen to gaming. Now all my hope has to rest on Sony getting their headset off the ground and making it right. It could happen, but having two options is always better than one.

    Seriously, why FB??? Of all companies,'why the most hated gaming platform in the world? I don't care if the price was $100trillion, it's still the worst deal in history.

  • didibus

    Facebook is trying to become a Tech company. Right now, it is a web company. I believe they are doing the right thing for the long term viability of the company. The problem lies in their public image, right now, facebook is the website and it is Mark Zuckerberg from the Social Network movie. If they keep expanding though, I believe they will change their image so that in 10 years people think of Facebook as a Tech company, not a social network website, and they just forget about the CEOs teenage drama from the film.

  • David Crawford